Paul Starobin’s thought-provoking book suggests that America’s global dominance is ending. How will the new world order look?In an urgent, fluid performance from Lloyd James, After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age, Starobin posits several possible scenarios in the absence of American military and economic dominance. These possible futures, backed up by interviews with relevant geopolitical figures, including the rise of a Chinese super state, a world of chaos similar to the one following the end of the Roman Empire, and the rise of global city states. Jones adopts a rational, objective voice that befits this insightful piece of speculative journalism.
The American Century has passed, argues Starobin, due in large part to America's military overreach in the Middle East; resurgent nationalism and economic expansion in Russia, China, and India; the tarnished American model of unfettered free-market capitalism; and the growth of transnational cultural, political, and economic institutions. Following an insightful analysis of America's global ascendancy, Starobin explores five possible scenarios for the future: an age of chaos like the one following the collapse of the Roman Empire; a multipolar order of nations in which America would be one great power among others; China becoming the dominant superpower; an age of global city-states; or a form of world government. A concluding section of the book explores how California---the eighth largest economy in the world and demographically and technologically among the most sophisticated spots on the planet---is already starting to move beyond the American Century.
Thought-provoking and well argued, After America serves as an urgent catalyst to discussing America's evolving role in a dramatically changing world. Starobin's tone is sober but in the end hopeful---the world after America need not be a disaster for America, and it might even be liberating.
©2009 Paul Starobin; (P)2009 Tantor
"A meticulously researched and up-to-the-minute analysis of the United States' role in global politics, culture and society." (Publishers Weekly)
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